Home Improvement: Undead Edition

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The editors of the New York Times bestselling Death's Excellent Vacation bring home a new collection...with a never-before- published Sookie Stackhouse story!

There's nothing like home renovation for finding skeletons in the closet or otherwordly portals in the attic. Now, for any homeowner who's ever wondered, "What's that creaking sound?" or fans of "how to" television who'd like a little unreality mixed in with their reality shows, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. ...

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Home Improvement: Undead Edition

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Overview

The editors of the New York Times bestselling Death's Excellent Vacation bring home a new collection...with a never-before- published Sookie Stackhouse story!

There's nothing like home renovation for finding skeletons in the closet or otherwordly portals in the attic. Now, for any homeowner who's ever wondered, "What's that creaking sound?" or fans of "how to" television who'd like a little unreality mixed in with their reality shows, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner return with an all-new collection of the paranormal perils of Do-It-Yourself.

Sookie Stackhouse resides in these pages, in a never-before-published story by #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris. And New York Times bestselling authors Patricia Briggs, James Grady, Heather Graham, Melissa Marr, and nine other outstanding writers have constructed more frightening and funny fixer-upper tales guaranteed to shake foundations and rattle readers' pipes.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Praise for Home Improvement: Undead Edition:

“The authors do a fine job of exploring the danger of the DIY movement. The tone ranges from silly (“It's All in the Rendering”) to classic horror (“The Mansion of Imperatives”)…there is no lack of imagination in this collection…This is definitely one of the most fun books you will read this summer.”—San Francisco Book Review

“These are delightful, entertaining and chilling stories. Some of them you'll be carrying around in your head for days. Do yourself a favor and spend a rainy afternoon with this book.”—Fresh Fiction

“Fun, different and often surprising compilation of short stories…This collection is a treat; the stories are strong and most reward the reader with a pleasing plot twist. The paranormal element added to the mundane yet trying experience of home or business renovation was an inspired theme certain to strike a cord with anyone who has lived the experience. Just the thing to enjoy on a languid summer day with a tall glass of cold lemonade.”—Monsters and Critics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441020355
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlaine Harris writes the #1 New York Times bestselling paranormal fantasy series featuring Sookie Stackhouse (the basis for the HBO(r) series True Blood) and the New York Times bestselling mystery series featuring sleuth Harper Connelly. She lives in a small town in southern Arkansas.

Toni L. P. Kelner is the award-winning author of the "Where Are They Now?" mystery series. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Biography

A native of the Mississippi Delta, Charlaine Harris grew up in a family of avid readers (her father was a teacher; her mother a librarian). She attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, graduating in 1973 with a degree in English and Communication Arts. Although she penned poetry and plays in school, her first serious foray into fiction was with two standalone novels, Sweet and Deadly and A Secret Rage, published (effortlessly!) in the early 1980s.

After her early success, Harris released the first installment in a series of lighthearted mysteries starring spunky, small-town Georgia librarian, true crime enthusiast, and amateur sleuth Aurora Teagarden. When Aurora debuted in Real Murders (1990), Publishers Weekly welcomed "a heroine as capable and potentially complex as P. D. James's Cordelia Gray." The book went on to receive an Agatha Award nomination.

Anxious for another challenge, Harris began a second series in 1996. Darker and edgier than the Teagarden novels, these mysteries featured taciturn, 30-something housecleaner Lily Bard, a woman with a complicated past who has moved to the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, to find peace and solitude. The first novel, Shakespeare's Landlord, was well-received. BookList raved: "Harris has created an intriguing new character in this solidly plotted story." [Much to the disappointment of her fans, Harris concluded the Lilly Bard sequence in 2001 with Shakespeare's Counselor.]

Although Harris achieved moderate success with these two series (which she laughingly describes as "cozies with teeth"), she would hit the jackpot in 2001 with Dead Until Dark, a sly, spoofy paranormal mystery starring a telepathic Louisiana cocktail waitress named Sookie Stackhouse, who falls in love with a vampire named Bill. The novel, a delightful hybrid of mystery, science fiction, and romance, was an instant hit with critics. ("Harris' Sookie has the potential to attract more readers than Hamilton's Anita Blake," raved the dark fantasy magazine Cemetery Dance.) Readers, too, adored the Southern Vampire Series and have rewarded the author with bestseller after bestseller. (In 2008, the Sookie saga came to HBO in a top-rated television adaptation, True Blood, starring Anna Paquin.)

With 2006's Grave Sight, Harris added yet another fascinating character to her stable -- a young woman named Harper Connelly whose youthful encounter with a lightning bolt has left her with the ability to find corpses and determine how they died. In addition to juggling characters and plots for her popular series, Harris has also contributed short stories and novellas to several anthologies of paranormal fantasy fiction.

Good To Know

In our interview, Harris confesses:

"I'm really a boring person. My family (my husband and three children) is the most important thing in my life. I go to bed early, I get up early. I love to go to the movies with my husband. My favorite things about finally making some money as a writer are (a) I can buy as many books as I want, and (b) I can hire a maid. The first job I had was working in an offset darkroom at a very small newspaper. I stood on a concrete floor all day and made minimum wage -- which then was $1.60 an hour. I hated it, and I learned a lot, though not necessarily about working in a darkroom. So being a writer is much better."

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    1. Hometown:
      Southern Arkansas
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 25, 1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tunica, Mississippi
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English and Communication Arts, Rhodes, 1973
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Introduction Charlaine Harris Toni L. P. Kelner ix

If I Had A Hammer Charlaine Harris 1

Wizard Home Security Victor Gischler 27

Gray Patricia Briggs 45

Squatters' Rights Rochelle Krich 71

Blood on the Wall Heather Graham 101

The Mansion of Imperatives James Grady 125

The Strength Inside Melissa Marr 141

Woolsley's Kitchen Nightmare E. E. Knight 163

Through This House Seanan McGuire 185

The Path S. J. Rozan 211

Rick the Brave Stacia Kane 237

Full-Scale Demolition Suzanne McLeod 263

It's All in the Rendering Simon R. Green 289

In Brightest Day Toni L. P. Kelner 309

About the Authors 337

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Can't wait

    I am so excited. I can't wait to read this book. Love all the other books by Charlaine Harris.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great short story collection

    This fourteen urban fantasy anthology are tongue in cheek tales that humorously lampoons the sub-genre and self help guides. All the entries are lighthearted fun as the readers leans the true meaning of bump in the night. The editors book end the collection as Charlaine Harris opens with Sookie greeted by a newcomer when a wall comes down in "If I Had a Hammer"; while Toni L.P. Kelner finishes the book with "In Brightest Day" in which raising the dead Gorrfried proves difficult as he keeps getting dead. Elyna "Gray " (Patricia Brigg's learns you can't go home to renovate in Chicago. Broahm calls "Wizard Home Security" (by Victor Gichler) when someone broke into his home. In New Orleans, Defeo goes home to find pig's "Blood on the Walls" of the family tombs by Heather Graham. The European knows he needs to change his GPS now that he is in the American Midwest's Switzerland Wisconsin learning first hand about "Woolsey's Kitchen Nightmare" by E. E. Knight. All the entries are enjoyable humorous Home Improvement tales that Tim Taylor would appreciate the paranormal power tools.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 6, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Very enjoyable reading since I didn't want to commit to a long book at the time. I was able to enjoy reading a story on my bus ride to work. As a big Sookie Stackhouse fan, the stories in this home improvement theme based book did not fall short.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Fun!

    I love the antholigies that Charlaine Harris puts together. It's nice to be introduced to new writers and characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2011

    NOT by Charlaine Harris

    Only the first (20 page) story is by Charlaine Harris. DO NOT Purchase this book if you are looking to read stories by Charlaine Harris!

    2 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Let down.

    After delighting in the first few stories, had to force way through to the end, all the while hoping selections would be as excellent as the first ones. Didn't happen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2011

    Enjoyed it.

    Gave me a chance to read some of my favorites and pick up some new ones.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2014

    If I had a Hammer by Charlaine Harris Sookie and friends une

    If I had a Hammer by Charlaine Harris




    Sookie and friends unearth an angry ghost while remodeling Tara’s house. This story was a bit boring, and the ending was anti-climatic.




    Wizard Home Security by Victor Gischler




    A wizard gets robbed and so puts in a home security system. But there are downsides to bobby-trapping your own house.




    I loved this story. One of my favorites in this collection.




    Gray by Patricia Briggs




    A lonely vampire returns to her old house, determine to fix it up as nice as it had been in the day. But things seem to conspire against her, including a vengeful ghost and the master of the city.




    This story was enjoyable. I especially liked the romantic twist at the end.




    Squatter’s Rights by Rochelle Krich




    A young Jewish couple are haunted by scratching in the walls at night.




    This story was very formulaic. I was disappointed in the ending especially.




    Blood on the Wall by Heather Graham




    A serial killer is stalking and killing the local satan worshipers. Can a beat cop and a reformed satanist stop the violence?




    This story was fun with a cool twist at the end. Begs for a sequel story.




    The Mansion of Imperatives by James Grady




    A group of friends attempt to renovate a home in the middle of a blizzard. But the home seems to have other plans.




    Short sentence fragments, head hopping, and messy writing make this almost impossible to read. It settles down near the end, and the twist was interesting, but overall I could not enjoy it.




    The Strength Inside by Melissa Marr




    A pair of Bori sisters attempt to make a home for their younger siblings, but a stubborn HOA representative fights their home improvement project.




    Anyone who has problems with their home owner’s association would appreciate this one. This is by far my favorite story of this collection. The twist at the end had me rolling on the floor.




    Woolsey’s Kitchen Nightmare by E.E. Knight




    A restaurant consultant tries to help a restaurant catering to translife (the undead and monsters) become profitable.




    A bit slow to get going, I enjoyed this one. The setting is unique and the story is very original. An impressive array of monsters populate this story, including zombies, skeletons, vampires, Devi demons, and night riders.




    Through this House by Seanan McGuire




    A old neglected mansion is a hard enough home improvement project, but place that magic in Fearie and populate it with Pixies and Boogies, and your project becomes infinitely harder.




    I liked this story, although I haven’t read any of the rest of the series. Very original, with lots of action and a cast of unique characters.




    The Path by S.J. Rozan




    The ghost of an old monk must go against his inner nature in order to be reborn.




    I really tried with this one, but I could not finish it.




    Rick the Brave by Stacia Kane




    An unemployed electrician takes a cash job in a seedy part of town helping to fix up an old mansion, but a pack of ghosts has other plans.




    Very fun, I enjoyed Rick’s adventures in home improvement. Not much of a twist, but I enjoyed the ride.




    Full-Scale Demolition by Suzanne McLeod




    When a home renovation opens up a pixie portal in a clients mansion, Genny Taylor a sidhe fae, is called in to catch the pixies and close the portal. But things do not go as planned.




    This story seemed to have a lot of background, I think its part of a series. I’d be interested in looking up more after reading this piece. Highly recommend this story.




    It’s all in the Rendering by Simon R. Green




    A house at the border of worlds poses unique challenges in the realm of home improvements. A change on one side needs to balanced by an equal change on the other.




    Another disappointing story. I liked the ‘twinning’ aspect of this story, of seeing the two different sides of everything, but overall it was boring.




    In Brightest Day by Toni L.P. Kelner




    A houngan raises a corpse so he can finish a home renovation. But someone else doesn’t want this project completed and keeps killing the undead.




    I really enjoyed this one. Very original and funny. The twist was hilarious.




    Overall I give this collection 3 stars. A few duds really pull down the quality of the entire collection, and nothing here is amazing enough to make up for it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    First 3 stories are good.

    Squatters Rights ended in the middle of the story....not happy about that!

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  • Posted May 4, 2012

    Interesting!

    This book was not what I was expecting but the stories are great. I definitely recommend this book.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Nice Companion

    Good companion.....

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